Validation of Administrative and Primary Care Electronic Medical Record Derived Frailty Algorithms 

Nominated Principal Applicant: Dr. Sabrina Wong (University of British Columbia)

Principal Applicants from Alberta: Dr. Tyler Williamson (University of Calgary)

Provinces involved: Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia


Early identification of frailty can decrease end-of-life costs while increasing quality of life. At a minimum early identification of frailty is patient-centred since clinicians can begin a dialogue about treatments and dying at home. More work is needed in consistent and accurate detection of frailty or those at risk of becoming increasingly frail both at a clinical practice panel and at a population level. Identifying those who are frail in primary care as well as in communities could enable targeted communications with patients and families and community based resources in order to improve patient care, patients’ and caregivers’ quality of life and better use of the healthcare system. The goal of this work is to support healthy aging and the needs of older adults. The specific objectives of this study are to: (a) identify administrative and electronic medical record data derived algorithms of frailty in community dwelling seniors (aged 65 years and older); (b) conduct content, face, and predictive validation of the administrative and electronic medical record frailty algorithms by engaging primary care clinicians and patients; and (c) identify natural ranges of frailty associated with differential risks of experience a hospital-related event. This study will take place using administrative and electronic medical record data in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba. We engage primary care clinicians in developing ways to identify frailty. We engage patients in our integrated knowledge translation and exchange.


Data sources:

There are two types of data that will be used: administrative health data housed at Population data BC; Data, Integration, Management and Reporting (DIMR) at Alberta Health Services; and the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP); and electronic medical record data from the BC, Alberta, and Manitoba CPCSSN networks.

The Alberta SPOR PIHCIN will provide support for this project in the following areas:

  • Access to networking support in Alberta and nationally through the SPOR PIHCIN network of networks;
  • Methodology development support through the Alberta SPOR PIHCIN Coordinator and Tripartite Leads; 
  • Networking connections to the Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs) and relevant primary health care and public health networks in Alberta;
  • Provide patient feedback on the LOI that was submitted in development of the grant proposal;
  • Facilitate any requested expertise from the seven Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit Platforms to ensure that integration from research into care has a significant positive impact for patients and the health care system. 

Conference presentation: (to be updated)

Publication: (to be updated)

Contact information:

Dr. Tyler Williamson
Community Health Sciences
University of Calgary
+1 (403) 210-6033